AI for diabetes project MELISSA launched

Research at the AI in Health and Nutrition Lab.  ARTORG Center
Research at the AI in Health and Nutrition Lab. ARTORG Center
The EU Research Project -MELISSA: Mobile Artificial Intelligence Solution for Diabetes Adapted Care- was launched today by a consortium of 12 partners, comprising the ARTORG Center Artificial Intelligence in Health and Nutrition (AIHN) lab. AIHN is the artificial intelligence expert in the project and initiated it in collaboration with DEBIOTECH, but due to Switzerland’s non-association cannot act as official leading house.

Diabetes is one of the fastest growing non-communicable diseases worldwide and among the leading causes of disability and death. Improvements in treatment and care were made over recent decades, yet great challenges remain. The new research project MELISSA, a collaboration of 12 partners from seven countries, introduces Artificial Intelligence (AI)-based solutions for personalised treatment and care in diabetes. AI promises to become a gamechanger in diabetes care. Not only an estimated 400,000 European lives could be saved every year, but also it could have a significant economic impact, saving 200 billion and 1,8 billion staff hours in Europe alone.

"Based on our findings, MELISSA ultimately aims to provide safer and evidence-based clinical decision support systems for affordable treatment for everyone with insulin-treated diabetes. Health care providers will be able to better predict patients’ responses to the individually tailored treatment. They can also rely on improved clinical guidelines thanks to the novel, clinically validated and (cost-) effective AI solutions. As such, MELISSA will be the first AI-powered solution to go through regulatory approval for clinical investigation in several European countries." says Professor Stavroula Mougiakakou from the AIHN laboratory at the ARTORG Center for Biomedical Engineering Research, University of Bern.

"Every insulin-treated person living with diabetes will be able to receive tailored treatment according to their individual needs." explains Dr Bastiaan de Galan, Professor of Internal Medicine and Diabetology at Maastricht University and coordinator of the MELISSA consortium.

In addition, the Swiss government will contribute EUR 1.8 million in funding for the Swiss Associate Partners. MELISSA is going to be coordinated by the Maastricht University and will work closely on managing the project with the AIHN lab of the University of Bern and the Swiss medical device R&D company DEBIOTECH.

(text adapted from MELISSA media release, 9 June 2022)